Monday, April 4, 2011

Les temps de la Colinière

            There is a
            wonderful poem, attuned to 
            the commonest thing.

            Oddly sorted schoolmates, finding 
            Renoir, reel by reel.

If each person has just 
one story to tell,

The self a Scheherezade 
postponing The End

It's the friend alone, who, 
night after night, listens,

His back to the camera,
his expression now quizzical,

Now encouraging even though,
because he has

A story himself,
he's heard it all before.

Octave: I feel like .. like disappearing down a hole.

The Marquis: And what would that achieve for you?

Octave: Well, it would help me not to see anything any more, not to search any more, for what's good, and what's bad. Because, you see, on this earth, there is one thing which is terrible, and that is that everyone has his own good reasons. ..

The Marquis: Well, I'm going to get dressed. Are you having some breakfast?

And who looks back,
Airily, is a younger self, 
Of the cost to come, of love's fatal laws
Whose permanent suffering his joy postpones.

Last cup of tea -
though I could sit here forever
Passing the life and times back and forth
Across the table with you, my ideal friend.

i    J.D. McClatchy
     An Essay on Friendship
        [on 'La règle du jeu']
        The Rest of the Way
        In memory of James Merrill
        Knopf, 1992©

     Matthias Lauridsen for van Noten

ii   Jean Renoir, director
      Jean Renoir, script
      La règle du jeu
      ORTF, 1939©
      John McGrath and Maureen Teitelbaum, translation
      Lorrimer Publishing, Ltd., 1970©

iii  An Essay on Friendship, op. cit.


  1. Mon cher Laurent,

    the Marquis dressed, but the friendship he failed to recognize mourned the day with such violence that all the windows of his palace shattered into heaps of pained crystal.

    The night, darkened by aloneness, dies softly.

  2. All I recall is his announcement of "a deplorable accident." No cinema has ever been knocked over by a lighter feather, I don't think, ever.

    I do not think the Marquis failed to recognise very much.

  3. "Octave. Because, you see, on this earth, there is one thing which is terrible, and that is that everyone has his own good reasons."

    Supremacy of subjectivity over objectivity and the defiling of feelings and emotions by sterile de-construction.

    One says, for that environment a hole is indeed preferable.

    One loves your writing substance and style. L'dor v'dor.

  4. Voyons! Given that I didn't write a shred of this entry, I'm claiming victory while I'm ahead!

    Thanks, David :)

    Of course one is never "done" with this movie, never done with this time, such company; so I shall have to risk some writings on these matters, one of these days. For now, I prefer to frame the general case.

  5. A gorgeous expression, one I've seldom found to "work" for me. I'm glad to see, you have such better luck with it!